Partnerships Create Sustainability…

I grew up a privileged child.  My parents always provided for me, and I never knew any form of financial insecurity.  I remember my dad sitting in his recliner chair at night watching CNN and worrying about the markets, but I never lacked for anything important.  He worked hard and, as a result, his law practice always persevered.

My parents with my daughters...

My parents enjoying being grandparents many years later…

When my brother and I approached upper elementary school, my mom went back to school and earned her Master’s degree.  She then continued her career teaching at Cardinal Newman High School.  She says that she teaches because it is her vocation, but I am savvy enough to realize that her paycheck also allowed me to graduate from college free of debt.

My parents are planners.  They are providers.  As an adult, I can look back and see that they made sacrifices so that I could pursue my dreams.  Twenty years later, I want that same thing for my own children.

My daughters and their cousin provide the next generation...

My daughters and their cousin provide the next generation…

Today, I worry about the markets looking at a computer screen instead of on a television but my face gets the same little crinkle in between my eyes that I used to see on my dad’s face.  I can now empathize with his worries of making a payroll, running a personal business, managing risk, and never losing sight of the responsibility to provide for my own family.

There are days when I am tremendously proud of my professional accomplishments.  There are days that I am scared to death that my hard work may not be enough.  Even though I believe that it is my vocation to care for cattle and raise beef, financial sustainability is never far from my mind.  It has to be—my farm is a business that must be able to endure.

It is not always easy...

It is not always easy…

Historically, raising cattle and growing beef is commodity based where supply and demand determine the price for the end product.  I believe that the single largest driver toward my financial sustainability is building demand.  The ability for me to endure requires that someone wants to purchase my beef at a price that will allow me to pay my bills and also provide for my family.

I have no financially sustainability if you do not have a desire to purchase this...

I have no financially sustainability if you do not have a desire to purchase this…

Building demand for beef from a farm in rural Nebraska is no easy task.  Cattle outnumber people 4 to 1 in my beloved Cornhusker State, so most of my customers live far away.  Growing beef is also a very capital intensive and heavily regulated business.  There are many obstacles to direct marketing and also to attaining the vertical collaboration that I believe is so critical to long term financial sustainability.

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He is raised with care…

Last week I took a major step toward achieving my dreams of building beef demand through quality.  I have known for a long time that accomplishing this would require partners and collaboration—my small feed yard in rural Nebraska does not produce enough volume of beef to surpass the challenges of building a brand or a demand for my specific product.BMG.jpg

I am incredibly proud of my new alliance with the Beef Marketing Group and am excited to enter into a new phase of learning and development.  My focus on quality will prevail and strengthen as I pool my ideas with a great group of cattlemen.   I have always led with my heart, and today still believe that the things that feel right lead to success.

ProgressiveBeefLogoGreen

I have faith that this new venture with BMG and Progressive Beef will help me to accomplish my goals of continuous improvement in animal welfare and food safety.  It will also help me to further develop a relationship with all of you wonderful people that choose to celebrate your lives over a delicious beef meal.

He still provides through mentoring to both me and my daughters...

He still provides through mentoring…

As I worked these past few weeks to complete the alliance with BMG, I frequently thought of my dad and how he always taught me to persevere while also staying true to my values.  Today I am smiling knowing that I have made him proud while also offering the same example to my daughters.

9 Comments

Filed under General, Sustainable Spring

9 responses to “Partnerships Create Sustainability…

  1. Congratulations on your alliances, Anne. You explain farming in a way those of us who don’t farm can understand, as a business. That communicates and resonates!

    • Thank you, Aimee! I very much appreciate your support. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      I am very excited about the alliances—it is a tremendous honor for me to be viewed as a valuable contributor. I have worked so hard over the last 17 years to build a solid and respected reputation amongst cattlemen. I look forward to continuing to get better each and every day as I care for cattle and raise beef 🙂

      Anne

  2. Sounds like an exciting new partnership … congrats 🙂

    • Thank you! I am looking forward to it—it will come with lots of learning and will keep pushing me to always do my best.

      The sun came out today! There is a rumor that spring will arrive in Nebraska on Friday with temperatures in the 70’s. I am holding my breath 🙂

      Anne

      • That is great I hope spring does come… we had a couple cooler day despite the warmer temps the wind was cool. Still the baby chicks got to today so that was good. I hope you get warmer temps I will cross my fingers 😉

  3. Congratulations and Good Luck with your new partnerships, Anne. That is exciting news and progress for you.

    • Thank you, Robyn. It is great news and will lead to exciting progress.

      Love your pictures of calving. You are amazing with a camera!

      Anne

  4. Bill

    I’m catching up on my reading. Your parents are certified ‘Cool’ by the Cool Parents Council. And what’s with the moody image of you looking at cattle? Maybe your canines want to swim in the next image in the series… A plate of beef!

    • Yes, Bill–my parents are wonderful people. They have worked hard their entire lives to make a difference in the world and that makes me very proud.

      I am not exactly sure what you mean by canines swimming, but I do have a couple of labs that love to swim in the lake in the summer time. We are all anxiously awaiting warm enough temperatures to make that viable!

      And, I am always in favor of a plate of beef–It’s what’s for dinner at the Feed Yard Foodie house!

      Anne

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